As fellow online editor Becky Stern pointed out on Monday, she and I are both “sweaty ladies in hot climates.” In fact, though I adore living in Austin, Texas, I dread when the temperatures start creeping up, because I know it means my shirts are going to take a beating from all the perspiration.
Becky started tackling the yellowed underarms of her shirts with baking soda, and had minimal success. She received loads of great comments and suggestions, though, and is investigating several of them and will report back soon.
Now it was my turn to hit the pits, and my weapon is none other than OxiClean, which actually was commented on in Becky’s original post. I just took a cup of warm water and scooped a bit of OxiClean powder in, and stirred it with an old toothbrush until it was dissolved.
I first scrubbed one underarm of a white T-shirt. It’s hard to get a picture of the yellowing, but trust me it was there. I scrubbed the solution into the fabric for a few minutes, and let it sit a few minutes longer. I also scrubbed the underarms of a dark T-shirt that had become discolored and hardened from deodorant residue.
After some scrubbing and sitting, I popped the shirts into the wash and washed them as I normally would. The results were pretty impressive. On the white shirt, it cleared most of the yellowing. I imagine if I’d let it sit a little longer, or perhaps let it soak overnight in the washing machine (which a friend suggested after I’d tried this) it may have come out completely. In the picture below, you can see the difference between one underarm and the other — this is on the same shirt, but I just did one underarm.
The clearest results, though, came on the dark T-shirt. That unsightly darkened and hardened patch was completely gone. I was ecstatic! This is a shirt I’d banned to just wearing around the house because it looked so gross. Now it’s back to normal. Hurrah!
I’m still interested in trying to clean some other stuff with the OxiClean. Several friends swear by pretreating and then soaking in OxiClean overnight for amazing results. My kids have some seriously stained clothes, so I’m eyeing them next. Have you had similar results with OxiClean or other specialty detergents? Leave them in the comments!